Classroom Activities

ballImg G1 English Language Arts - Phonics
Elementary 1 Elementary 1 Elementary 1
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G1 English Language Arts - Phonics

Grade 1 students in GKA learn phonics as they learn the alphabet. Phonics is a widely adopted method used in English speaking countries for teaching reading and writing to beginning learners. As learners’ phonemic awareness is developed- the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate letter sounds- they apply the patterns they’ve learned to read or write by “sounding out” the words. For instance, the word “mat” can be described phoneme “/m/”, “/a/”, “/t/” or letters “m”, “a”, “t”. In the word “shut,” the “s” and “h” do not make their own individual sounds, but rather the /?/ for “sh.” Students are taught that two letters used together can represent a distinct sound, referred to as a digraph. In this instance, “s” and “h” form the digraph /?/, and would be sounded out “/?/”, “/u/”, “/t/” or the letters “sh”, “u”, “t.”

There exits reliable rules of spelling patterns which are applicable to more than 75% words including “/f/” for “ph”,/?/ for sh ,or /θ/ and /d/ for “th” when considering syllable structures, phonetics and accents.

These were written by G1 students in July after studying phonics for three months. As they practiced the sight word “my”, students were instructed to create and write a sentence of their own. They had to apply the phonetic rules they’d learned to try to sound out and spell unknown words on their own. In the first example, the word “toy” is pronounced as “toi”, so the student wrote “toi” as he heard the sound.

In example two, the word “favorite” has a silent “e” which is not pronounced when sounding out the word, so the student omitted it when writing the word.

In the third example, the student did not know the letters to create the “oo” sound in fruit, so she spelled “fruit” as “frit.” She also knew the correct spelling for “blue” but not for “berry,” so her final spelling for “blueberry” was “bluebele.” (Confusion between the “r” and “l” sound is very common for native Japanese speakers learning English as there is no distinction between the two sounds in Japanese.)

ballImg G6 English Language Arts - Book Reports
Elementary 1 Elementary 1
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G6-EnglishBookReportA PDF  G6-EnglishBookReportB PDF

G6 English Language Arts - Book Reports

Reading is an important part of our English program and we encourage students to read in English daily. In grade 6, students keep a reading log of the books they are reading independently for homework. After they have finished a book, the students will write a book report about that book. In their report, they can summarize the story, introduce the characters or share their favorite part of the story. The students can review and recommend the book by expressing why they liked or didn’t like the book. They can also draw a scene from the book or draw what they think the characters might look like. These book reports not only help the students to organize and express their thoughts, but the reports also allow other students the opportunity to learn more about books that they might be interested in reading themselves.

ballImg G6 Science - Journal
Elementary 1 Elementary 1
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G6 Science - Journal

Each week in science class the 6th grade students are given a journal topic to write about. The themes come from the unit we are currently studying. Topics range from summarizing concepts from the text or class; simple research projects; short science based fiction; or to just write their thoughts about a science topic. Typically responses are 1/3 to 1 page long; however this student took the work one step further by adding beautiful illustrations to her journal entries. The first attached journal is about the human digestive system. The student discusses the system and function, and compare and summarize other animals’ digestive system. The second one is about the functions of human respiratory system expressed by diagrams and writing.

ballImg G6 English Language Arts - English Journal Assignments
Elementary 1
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G6 English Language Arts - English Journal Assignments

Grade 6 students keep an English writing journal which allows them the opportunity to express themselves freely in writing. Students are given journal topic prompts and usually have a few days to write the entry in their journal notebook. Since the purpose of the journals is to encourage self-expression through writing, spelling and grammar are not corrected. We are very proud of how well our students are able to organize their thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas.